This is not an account about a host of multi-coloured underpants rising up to get me . . . I wish it was.
Before I entered the double digit stage of life, I remember my mother saying to me, “Believe in the shoe.” This was a mantra I carried with me every time I tottered on new heels, or wanted to fling them away in distress. Before fashionista was an accepted word, or my mother even knew I was going to happen, she was rocking her own unique style like a pro. As a fashion major in England, this was unsurprising and who knows what would have happened if my grandmother hadn’t passed so suddenly, causing the family’s return to Barbados where her parents were born? Sometimes I imagine what her life might have been like, but, that’s another story. Either way, though my mum hung up her six inch heels for more sensible options when she had me, her tips were still at hand whenever needed and in most cases, were the perfect fit for any situation.
When I started wearing heels, it just felt right. I didn’t stumble or wring my foot like some of my other friends did, so decided that I could graduate from 3 – 4 inches to 6. Now, let me just say that as a soldier of fashion – please believe that’s what you are each time you endure pain for style – I decided that pain was a part of the game and, though six inches was sometimes a challenge, I stood up to it and kept walking as though nothing was wrong. Sure, there were a few times when I had to slip them off under a table, or take a moment from the dance floor. But, I genuinely don’t like to go out and take my shoes off, I really don’t like how it looks, so generally if I was in pain I thought, so be it. That was, until New Year’s Eve 2011.
A group of friends and I decided to head to 1st and 2nd Street Holetown, two streets and shameless advertising a place where you can get everything from good food, light music and sometimes a party. For Old Year’s – that’s what we call it in the Caribbean – it becomes this huge two-street party, where people walk around, dance, show off their outfits, drink, etc, into the wee hours of the morning. I was wearing black six inch heels, otherwise known as the devil shoes from here on out. I was fine for the pre-outing drink that evening (because I was barefoot), I was fine as we travelled there (because I was sitting in a vehicle) but, after standing for pictures for a while and walking around for about an hour – if it was that long – my feet were killing me. I tried to remember my mum’s old adage, but it was difficult to ‘believe in the shoe’, when this pair wouldn’t even accept my praise!
To cut a long story short, we ended up chilling at one of the bars in 1st Street and I tried hard, I really did, but even though I was sitting, the pain wouldn’t go away. I was being disagreeable and wasn’t enjoying myself, so finally, I slipped them off – feeling a bit naked – but absolutely relieved and happy. Literally, the moment I took them off, I felt a wave of good feelings. It was like the lion having the thorn pulled from his foot, only my thorns were devil shoes dressed up as fashion statements.
1) How easily a little thing can change your mood.
2) Being a soldier of fashion should be illegal.
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